In a bid to develop its position in the Scandinavian water market, French dairy-to-drinks giant Groupe Danone has acquired a 49% stake in Danish bottled water company Aqua d'or. Financial details were not disclosed.

With annual consumption per capita averaging 22 liters in Scandinavia, compared to 110 liters in western Europe, Danone believes the Scandinavian bottled water market offers promising scope for development.

Commenting on the acquisition, chairman and CEO Franck Riboud said: The Scandinavia water market is steadily growing and offers huge potential.

This partnership with Aqua d’or, the local fastest growing bottled water company, will allow Danone to benefit from its knowledge of the market as well as the distribution channels in the Nordic region. Besides, [the] Aqua d’or portfolio and Evian product range are very complementary.

The current management, which will hold 51% of equity, will continue to run the business. Aqua d’or, which produces Denice in addition to its eponymous brand, was launched in 2000 and has reported sales of around E20 million.

In 2005, Aqua d’or recorded a growth in excess of 30% and is the leading player in the still bottled water segment with a market share of 50% in value in Denmark, and is also a leading player in Sweden.